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The necessity and development of

the American constitution


Grade 5, 2nd term

Elisa Toscano
12/13/16
SST 309
Sarah Tate
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Outline
1. Unit Calendar

pp.1-3

2. Stage One

pp. 4- 7

3. Stage Two

pp. 8-15

4. Hooking Lesson

pp.16-17

5. Concept Formation Lesson: Democracy

pp. 18-21

6. Academic Vocabulary Activity

p.22

7. Working with Texts: Amendments and the Bill of Rights

pp. 23-28

8. Reflections

pp.29-30

9. Resources

p.31

Unit Calendar

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Hooking Lesson:
Why was/is a
constitution and
laws needed?

Concept
Formation
Lesson:
Democracy

Group activity

Paper & Pencil


Academic Vocab
Test
Activity

Day 6
Preamble of
Constitution

Day 7
Content of
Constitution

Constitutional
Convention

Day 4
Articles of
Confederation
vs. Constitution
What is
different?

Day 8
George
Washington

Day 5
Change in the
country:
Constitution
Performance
Assessment

Day 9
Text Lesson:
Amendments
and the Bill of
Rights

Day 10
What would you
change about
the
Constitution?

Narrative
Assessment

Daily Lessons Abstract

Day 1: Hooking Lesson: Enduring Understanding and Compelling Question


This lessons helps the students to gain understanding why laws and rules are needed.
They will pretend to form their own country and, in group work, come up with
important laws they want for their country. They will consider which laws are necessary
for a country to work and why laws are needed in general. Each group writes their top
ten laws on a poster and presents it to the class. The teacher explains the tasks to the
children and walks around while they're working on their poser to answer questions and
help out.

Day 2: Concept Formation Lesson: Democracy


In this inductive lesson the students will learn about the concept of democracy with the
help of examples. After activating prior knowledge, the students receive a work sheet
with an example of a democratic election. The students and the teacher work on the
characteristics of a democracy and come up with a definition. With an Example/NonExample Worksheet they students will practice their understanding of democracy. As a
homework the students will have to find 3 democratic countries other than the US.
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Day 3: Constitutional Convention


In this lesson, the students learn about the Constitutional Convention. Main topics will
be the members, where and when it took place, and what the outcome was. The students
will be assessed with a Paper & Pencil Test.

Day 4: Articles of Confederation vs. Constitution


In this lesson, the students will compare and contrast the Articles of Confederation and
the American Constitution. The class will be divided in two groups, each deals with one
document. Both groups will present the main points of their document, then the whole
class compares them with each other. The teacher will

Day 5: Change in the country: Constitution


After watching a video, the students and the teacher will discuss the changes in the
country after the Constitution was written. The students will be assessed with the
Performance Assessment the letter in which they pretend to be a member of the
Constitutional Convention.

Day 6: Preamble of Constitution


This lesson teaches the content and sense of the Preamble of the Constitution. A primary
source will be used.

Day 7: Content of Constitution


In this lesson the students will learn about the content of the Constitution. A primary
source will be used and the students will deal in groups with the most important laws in
the document.

Day 8: George Washington


This lesson will be all about George Washington. The students will learn, that he was the
first president of the United States, who elected him and where and when he was elected.
Also, what influence he had on the country (e.g. capital named after him).

Day 9: Amendments and the Bill of Rights


This lesson answers the question, why the people of the US demanded amendments and
the importance of the Bill of Rights by working with three different types of texts: a
description, an official law phrasing and a narrative. After reading and working with the
description of the amendments' history, the students will work in groups to find
examples for actions that are protected by the Bill of Rights. They will present their
results to the class. As an assessment, the students are reading a narrative and
identifying, where the characters rights have been violated.

Day 10: What would you change about the Constitution?


In this lesson, the students are supposed to get in groups and think of what they would
change in the constitution. After every group presented their results, the class will
debate whether they think change makes sense or not.

Unit Overview
This Unit will teach the students about the emergence and the necessity of the American
Constitution. They will learn about why laws and rules are crucial for a working country
and society. Main topics will be the concept of democracy, the comparison between the
Articles of Confederation, the Philadelphia Convention, the Preamble and the content of
the American Constitution and the Bill of Rights. There will be all different kinds of
activities, e.g. group work, working with primary sources and narratives, but also videos
and creative writing. The students already know how to work with texts and how to
identify important information. The students will have prior knowledge of the American
Revolution, and the Articles of Confederation and why they failed. This would be the last
unit of grade five.

Unit Rationale

(Michigan Department of Education. (2012) Grade Level Content Expectations, Grade Five.
Lansing, MI)

Students [also] describe the significant events and turning points during the war. In
examining the challenges faced by the new nation under the Articles of Confederation,
the expectations continue to build upon students understanding of government. By
exploring the political ideas underlying the Articles of Confederation and the subsequent
adoption of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights (with particular emphasis on the
rights contained in first four amendments), the values and principles of American
democracy are revisited through a historical context. Students examine how the
Founders sought to limit the power of government through principles of separation of
powers, checks and balances, dual sovereignty (federalism), protection of individual
rights, popular sovereignty, and rule of law.

Considering the Learners

The students should have prior knowledge about how America was formed. They have to
know about Colonialism and also know about the Revolutionary War in order to
understand why America was without president and a federal government.
Its important for the students to know in which condition America has been at the time
because that state showed the necessity of a constitution.
You should always activate the students prior knowledge to see what they already know
and also to correct misunderstanding.
The learners also have to have some skills in order to work with historical texts, time
lines, graphs and tables.
4

And because its a very broad topic, the teacher should try to break it down into
understandable topics and events. It doesnt help the children to know each exact day of
an event if they dont know what happened.

Enduring Understanding/Big Idea:

After many years of war and revolution the US needed a change and a stronger federal government.
The constitution was developed to make this change.
1.
2.
3.
Compelling Question:

Why was a constitution


needed?
Why is it still needed
today?

Supporting Questions:

What did America look like without a constitution?


What were the issues of not having a constitution?
What were the issues they could/couldnt agree on?
What is a federal government and why is it needed?
What were the outcomes?
Is it still contemporary?
Who met to develop a constitution?
Was it their primary goal?

Behavioral Objectives:

The students will be able to

list reasons why laws are needed


explain why a federal government was and is needed
label a rough time line from 1770 through ca. 1900
name problems of the Articles of Federation and why they failed
explain why the Philadelphia Convention was convened
name the founding fathers and the US first president
explain why the new constitution was needed
describe why separation of power is needed
explain the electoral college, checks and balances, and the Bill of Rights
D2.Civ.3.3-5. Examine the origins and purposes of rules, laws, and key U.S.
constitutional provisions.
5 U3.1.6 Identify the role that key individuals played in leading the colonists to
revolution, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin,
Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, John Adams, and Thomas Paine.

Key Concepts:

Monarchy
Colonialism
Loyalists vs. Patriots
Revolution
Democracy
Government
Separation of powers
Federalism
President/Congress
Law
Articles of Confederation
Founding Fathers
Philadelphia Convention
(Constitutional
Convention)
Constitution
Election System
Checks and Balances
Bill of Rights

Important Knowledge:

After this unit, the


students will have
acquired a lot of
knowledge. They will
know who Thomas
Jefferson, James
Madison, Alexander
Hamilton, George
Washington and
Benjamin Franklin
were.
Also they will know
what America looked
like before and in
1787 and what
happened during the
American
Revolution(17701779). They will
know the documents,
Declaration of
Independence (1776)
and Articles of

Important Skills:

Reading texts
Writing essays,
explanations
Discussing
Analyzing,
interpreting and
work with readings
Analyzing graphs &
tables
Sourcing
Creating time lines
Chronological
thinking

Confederation (17811789). Furthermore


they will know about
the
Philadelphia
Convention (May
September 1787)
and the Emergence of
Constitution.
Of course in
connection to that
they will learn about
the content of the
Constitution, that
George Washington
became President
(1789) and the Bill of
rights (1891).

Description of Informal
Assessments:

Flashlight
The teacher asks a question
and each student has to say a
word or a sentence to answer
it.
e.g. You can ask them for a
reason they think countries
need rules and laws and each
gets to answer in a words or a
sentence.

Overview and Rationale for Paper


and Pencil Quiz/Test (see attached
test/quiz):

The students will have to answer 5


questions and one bonus question if
they can. There are 2 single choice
questions, 1 question where they have
to just name people and 2 questions
they have to answer with a
paragraph. To earn extra credit, they
can show in the map where
Philadelphia is located and why it
was important.
The students know how much credit
they can earn for each question.

Sorting events.
Students get a worksheet with
a list of events they have to put
in the right order. (e.g.
American Revolution,
Declaration of Independence,
Constitutional Convention, Bill
of rights).
Alternative: cards with
different events for the
students to organize

This test will test the students on


basic knowledge about the
disengagement of the colonies from
the British, the Constitutional
Convention and the development of
the Constitution.

3 Minute Essay
The students have to take out
a piece of paper and they have
3 minutes to write down
everything they know about a
given topic or person e.g. Who
was James Madison? or What
does no taxation without
representation mean?

Performance Assessment Overview, Rationale, and Objectives (see attachments for


directions to teacher, student directions, and handout):

The students will imagine they are a member of the Constitutional Convention. It is
October 1787 and they are writing a letter to a relative who lives in another country.
They tell them about the problems America faced under the Articles of Confederation,
about the Constitutional Convention and why the members of the Convention saw the
importance of a federal government and of writing a new constitution.

By writing this letter, the students show understanding of the change that happened in
America between 1770-1787 and the origination process of the American Constitution.
The students have to write about the problems America faced under the Articles of
Confederation and why the Philadelphia Convention was convened. They will have to
explain the outcome of the Convention and why a federal government and a new
constitution was needed. The knowledge the students show here is very important, not
only to understand the American History but also to understand todays importance of
having a government and laws and regulations.

The Michigan Standards target the following knowledge and standards for students of a
fifth grade:

5 U3.3.1 Describe the powers of the national government and state


governments under the Articles of Confederation. (C)
5 U3.3.2 Give examples of problems the country faced under the Articles of
Confederation (e.g., lack of national army, competing currencies, reliance on state
governments for money). (National Geography Standard 13, p. 169, C)
5 U3.3.3 Explain why the Constitutional Convention was convened and why the
Constitution was written. (C)

All of these standards are fulfilled when the students perform well in writing this letter.

Paper and Pencil Test


Instruction for Teacher: Hand out the test and go through every question with the
students to see if they have question. If theyre answering the multiple choice question,
only one answer is correct. If they tick more than one, they will not get credit. Tell them
to make sure they dont get stuck at one question they might not be able to answer, but to
continue to the questions they can answer to not waste their time. They can see how
many points each question is worth based on the indications. The students can earn
extra credit with the last Bonus Question. They are allowed to take an extra sheet if the
space on the test sheet is not enough and they have 30 minutes to finish the test.

"Which of the following groups were in favor of a new national government?"


(2cr)
o

Loyalists

The British

Federalists

Native Americans

2.
Explain the meaning and importance of the sentence no taxation without
representation. (4cr.)

10

3.
Name and explain three reasons why the colonies wanted to become independent
of the British crown? (6cr.)

4.

When did the Philadelphia Convention take place? (2cr.)

1787

1878

1988

1677

5.

What was another name for the Philadelphia Convention? (1cr.)

Philly Convention

George Washington Convention

Constitutional Convention

Convention of the Confederation

6.

Name 3 participants of the Convention. (3cr.)

11

7.

Who do you see in the picture? (2cr.)

Benjamin Franklin

George Washington

Wolfgang Mozart

James Monroe

8.
Why did the participants meet in the first place? (Think about who, where etc.)
(5cr)

9.
What was the conventions outcome? Was it different from what was expected?
(5cr.)

12

Bonus Credit: Show in the map where Philadelphia is located (1cr.)

13

Performance Assessment
Instruction for Teachers: Ask the students if they have any question about the letter
they have to write. It should be about 2 pages long and they have to write it in 1st person.
(e.g. Im telling you about...). The students are supposed to imagine they are a member of
the Constitutional Convention and write a letter to a family member in another country,
telling what's going on in the country. Give examples, if the students are confused or
don't know how to start. Tell them to make a list or an outline before they start, so they
don't forget anything important.

Instruction for students: Imagine you are a member of the Constitutional Convention.
It is October 1787 and you are writing a letter to a relative who lives in another country.
Tell him about the problems America faced under the Articles of Confederation. Also, tell
him about the Constitutional Convention and why you and the other members of the
Convention saw the importance of a federal government and of writing a new
constitution. Was was the problem with the Articles of Confederation? Was it easy to
agree on a new constitution? How do you feel about the situation?

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Rubric:

Grade

The students show


understanding of the
changes that happened in
America and the problems
the country faced under
the Articles of
Confederation. They can
name reasons why the
Constitutional Convention
was convened, who the
most important members
were and when it took
place. Furthermore, they
know why a federal
government and the
American Constitution
were needed and who the
first President of the
United States was.

Some minor
facts are
missing, but
the overall
concept of the
changes and
the
development of
the
constitution
are clear.

Facts, events
or dates are
sometimes
wrong or
missing. The
overall idea is
given but not
detailed
enough.

Several facts,
events or
dates are
wrong or
completely
missing.

Student didnt
turn a letter in
or just wrote a
few sentences.

The writing style is


adequate, grammar and
spelling are correct.

Grammar and
spelling are
mostly correct.

Some mistakes
in grammar
and spelling.

Main ideas
and changes
are not
shown.

The teacher
has
problems
with the
writing style,
many
mistakes in
grammar
and spelling.

(Almost)
everything the
student wrote
was wrong or
not part of the
task.

Many errors in
grammar and
spelling.
Writing style is
not clear to
understand.

When grading these letters, I would give separate grades for content and
grammar/spelling/writing style. The content grade counts 85%, the
grammar/spelling/writing style counts 15%.

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Hooking Lesson
Your Name: Elisa Toscano

Length of lesson: 80 minutes

Compelling Question:
Why was a constitution needed? Why is it still needed today?

Overview:
This lessons helps the students to gain understanding why laws and rules are needed.
They will pretend to form their own country and in group work come up with important
laws they want for their country. They will think about which laws are necessary for a
country to work and why laws are needed in general. Each group writes their Top 10
laws on a poster and presents it to the class.

Objectives:
D2.Civ.3.3-5. Examine the origins and purposes of rules, laws, and key U.S. constitutional
provisions.
D2.Civ.4.3-5. Explain how groups of people make rules to create responsibilities and
protect freedoms.

Anticipated student conceptions or challenges to understanding:


students could not remember why the Articles of Confederation failed
have one or two students who remember list the problems
the students could have problems with coming up with laws
teacher walks around and gives examples and helps students

Materials/Evidence/Sources:
posters
markers
tape

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Assessment:
The students will be assessed with a short essay they have to write at home. They are
supposed to write about why their group chose the laws they did and why they think
laws are important in general. Also they have to answer the question whether or not
they think a country/society could work without rules/laws. The essay is turned in to
the teacher in the next lesson.

Instructional Sequence:
Welcome class, activate prior knowledge: (~10 minutes)
we've already talked about the Articles of Confederation and why they failed
Ask: Does anyone know what came afterwards?
Why were laws and rules needed anyway?

Ask students to think of rules and laws they know, and write them down. Give example:
It's forbidden to steal. etc. (~10 minutes)

Collect rules and laws the students came up with on the board. Ask students what they
think would happen, if those rules didn't exist. Write everything on board, students copy
it in their note book. (~10 minutes)

Tell the class we're founding a countries and they are supposed to write their own laws.
Divide the class in groups of 5 students. Each group receives a poster and they are
supposed to come up with the 10 most important laws for a country. (~20 minutes)

Each group presents their poster with their laws and the whole class looks for
similarities and differences. Are there some topics everybody dealt with? Why are they
so important? (~20 minutes)

Homework: Write one two pages about why their group chose the laws they did and
why they think laws in general are important.

Attachments:
Homework for students:
Write one two pages about why your group chose the laws you chose. Why do you
think those laws were important? Why do you think laws in general are important? Do
you think a country/society could live without laws? Why/Why not?
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Concept Formation Lesson: Democracy

Your Name: Elisa Toscano

Length of lesson: 60 minutes

Title of lesson: Concept of democracy

Overview:
In this inductive lesson the students will learn about the concept of democracy with the
help of examples. After activating prior knowledge, the students receive a work sheet
with an example of a democratic election. The students and the teacher work on the
characteristics of a democracy and come up with a definition. With an Example/NonExample Worksheet they students will practice their understanding of democracy. As a
homework the students will have to find 3 democratic countries other than the US.

Objectives:

The students will understand the concept of democracy and will be able to
distinguish a democracy from other forms of governments. They will also know
features of a democratic election.

(D2.Civ.2.3-5.) Explain how a democracy relies on peoples responsible participation, and


draw implications for how individuals should participate. MI- K-8 SS Standards.

Anticipated student conceptions or challenges to understanding:

I expect the students to have problems with the understanding of a concept,


because it's vague and impalpable. I will help them understand the concept by
giving them examples and non-examples. Then they will understand the word by
understanding examples.

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Materials/Evidence/Sources:

Worksheet about democratic election in the US.

Example/Non-Example sheet

Sources: both sheets and definition written by myself

Assessment:

The students will be assessed with the Example/Non-Example Worksheet. This shows
the teacher if the students understood the concept of democracy and its characteristics.
As a homework the students have to find 3 countries (other than the US) that are a
democracy. This shows if the students have the ability to distinguish a democratic
country from another form of government.

Instructional Sequence:

1. Welcome class to lesson. Activate prior knowledge:


We've talked about monarchy when we dealt with the Colonies under the British Crown.
the explain that there are different forms of government than monarchy (~5 min.)

2. The students receive a work sheet with a text that talks about democratic elections
and democracy in a country. The students are supposed to find the characteristics of a
democratic country and democratic elections. The class shares the characteristics
they've found and the teacher writes them on the board. (~20 min.)

3. The class talks about those characteristics and why they are so important for
democracy.
create definition of democracy (see attached) (~15 min.)

4. The teacher hands out a work sheet with 4 short texts. The students have to decide if
it's an example for a democracy or not. They have to underline the characteristics
they've based their decision on. This sheet will be turned in to the teacher. (~15 min.)
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5. As a homework, the students have to find 3 countries (other than the US) with a
democracy as form of government and write down what makes them democratic. (~5
min.)

Worksheet for class:

In 2016 the United States of America have elected a new president. Every American
citizen who's 18 and older, was allowed to vote. The two main candidates were Hillary
Clinton and Donald Trump. The election was secret, that means no one had to tell
another person who they've voted for. Like this, everybody is free to vote for whoever
they want to. Every voter has one vote and every vote counts the same. Since most of the
people voted for Donald Trump, he was elected president. He will be the president of the
US and represents the people of America. Everyone can express their opinion about the
outcome of an election without fearing discrimination or punishment.

Characteristics that the students should find:

Elections are secret

Elections are free

Every voter has one vote

All votes count the same

The majority wins

The elected president represents a country

Freedom of speech.

The definition the class and teacher should come up with: (or similar)

A democracy is a form of government where the people vote for their president.
Democracy is also a form of decision making. The elections have to be secret, free and
equal. The party with the majority of votes wins. The people who vote are in power over
the decision making. In a democracy, everybody has the freedom to express their
opinion. This is called freedom of speech.

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Example/Non-Example Sheet:

Read the texts carefully and find out if the examples describe a democracy or not.
Underline the characteristics of a democracy you find and explain why or why not
it's a democracy.

1. A country voted on their new president. The womens' votes count twice as much
as the mens' votes.

2. A class votes on a new class representative. Every student is allowed to vote and
no one can watch another person while voting. The elected student will represent
the class.

3. The country North Korea has a president. He became president when is father,
the former president died. The people are not allowed to criticize the president or
they will be punished by the government.

4. Germany elected a new chancellor. The election was free, secret and equal.
41% voted for the candidate Angela Merkel. No other candidate had that many votes,
which is why she became the chancellor of Germany.

Homework:
Find 3 other countries than the US who have a democratic government. Explain, why
they are a democracy using the characteristics we've talked about.

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Academic vocabulary activity


In my rehearsal teaching lesson I introduce the words congress, delegate, legislation and
constitution. I read a short text to my students (see attached) and ask them to listen
carefully for the meanings of those words. The students also receive a work sheet with
the text so they could underline the important information as I was reading. Afterwards
we talk about the words and the students had the chance to ask questions in case they
didnt understand a definition. Then they receive memory cards I prepared at home. One
student read the definitions of the word and the other student had to say the matching
word to the definition. They would swap afterwards. Then the students played memories
with the cards. As a ticket out the door they have 5 minutes to write an own definition on
a piece of paper. This way I could see if they understood all the words. From Beck et. al
Ive learned how to write a student friendly definition for the words. I kept the
definitions in easy words and everyday language in order for the students to understand
the words. I also took the advice in account how many words we should introduce at a
time. For a 15-minute session, I figured 4 words would be appropriate. Ive also learned
about the timing when introducing words. It makes sense to introduce the words when
theyre needed, which is why I introduced those words after the part of the unit where
the learn about the Articles of Confederation. The words I chose are very useful for my
Unit Plan, since my Unit deals with the emergence of the constitution. Before this lesson
the students will learn about the Articles of Confederation and why they failed. I would
introduce the constitution with the question what a constitution is and what its main
changes were. If Id teach a longer lesson Id introduce more words e.g. Senate, House of
Representatives, Separation of Powers.

Good morning class,


In the last lessons, weve learned a lot about the Articles of Confederation, why they failed
and that a new constitution was needed. But what exactly is a constitution? And there is
also the legislation weve talked about, but what is the difference? Also, who decided on
new laws and what do they look like? Im going to read a short text to you and I want you
to listen carefully for the answers to our questions.
Legislation means laws, that can be changed and adjusted to the changes that are
happening in the country. For example, traffic laws were different in the times of horse
carriages than the laws for todays traffic with cars. The constitution is a document that is
made of super laws that can NOT be changed easily. For example, the freedom of speech
or the freedom of religion. The constitution was written by delegates of the colonies.
Delegates are elected people who represent a bigger group of people and their opinions
and values. The law-making body today is called congress. The Congress consists of two
chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate.

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Working with Texts: Amendments and the Bill of Rights

Your Name(s): Elisa Toscano

Length of lesson: 90 minutes

Title of lesson: Amendments and the Bill of Rights

Overview:
This lesson answers the question why the people of the US demanded amendments and
the importance of the Bill of Rights by working with three different types of texts: a
description, an official law phrasing and a narrative. After reading and working with the
description of the amendments' history, the students will work in groups to find
examples for actions that are protected by the Bill of Rights. They will present their
results to the class.
As an assessment, the students are reading a narrative and identifying, where the
characters rights have been violated.

Objectives:

The students will know why amendments and the bill of rights were needed.

(5 - U3.3.7 Describe the concern that some people had about individual rights and why
the inclusion of a Bill of Rights was needed for ratification. (C))

The students will be able to explain the rights that are protected by the Bill of
Rights..

(5 U3.3.8 Describe the rights found in the First, Second, Third, and Fourth
Amendments to the United States Constitution.)

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Anticipated student conceptions or challenges to understanding:

The students could:

not know what an amendment is.


not know what a bill is.
have problems in reading a text and identifying the important information.
I'll explain the children the technique of reading and underlining new and important
information. By talking about each paragraph after it was read, the students will see if
they identified the correct information. I will also tell them, to write down questions they
have next to the text, so they don't forget about them.
have problems with finding examples for an amendment.
I'll give them an example of an example for an action that is protected by the Bill of
Rights.
have problems to identify the violated rights from the text.
I'll give them an example and walk around class to answer questions while the students
are working on the narrative.

Materials/Evidence/Sources:

http://jleuneberg.weebly.com/uploads/2/4/6/0/24606640/n-bergen-bill-ofrights.pdf (Narrative)

http://www.usconstitution.net/constkids.html (Description of amendments'


history)

http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/indepth/constitution_day/inside/i
ndex.asp?article=billofrights (List of Bill of Rights, adjusted for children)

Assessment:
The students will be assessed with a narrative about a man who's rights were violated by
the police and the judicial branch. The students will have to find out which of his rights,
that are actually protected by the Bill of Rights were violated.

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Instructional Sequence:

1. Activate prior knowledge:


We've talked about the constitution and what it consists of.
Explain that there is more: Amendments, Bill of Rights (~5 minutes)

2. Hand out the first text about the history of amendments and the Bill of Rights.
Have students read the paragraphs alternately out loud. The students are supposed to
underline the important information about amendments and the Bill of Rights. Explain
that this will help them with the upcoming activities. Talk about each paragraph after it
was read and answer questions. (~20 minutes)

3. With the help of the students, sum it up in bullet points on the board. Students
copy the bullet points into their notebooks. (~10 minutes)

4. Divide class in 10 groups. Each group receives a flash card with one amendment
of the Bill of Rights written on it. The students are supposed to make a small
poster about this amendment, explain it and find examples in real life. (~15
minutes)

5. Each group presents their amendment and the examples they've found. After the
lesson, the teacher will create a collage out of all the posters and hand them out to
the students. (~20 minutes)

6. Explain the assessment: The students are supposed to read the narrative about
Johnny Q. Public and write down which amendments were violated by the police
and the court. The sheet will be turned in to the teacher. (~20 minutes)
part of lesson taught in Whole Group Rehearsal Teaching (altered)
results are discussed in class and put on the board.

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Handout for the students:


Amendments
When the Constitution was written, the Framers knew their creation was not perfect.
They knew that other people would have good ideas for the Constitution. They wanted to
be sure that it wasn't too hard to make changes. They also wanted to be sure that it
wasn't too easy.
The Framers added an amendment process. An amendment to the Constitution is a
change that can add to the Constitution or change an older part of it.
Originally, some people did not want to ratify the Constitution. One big reason was that it
did not have a bill of rights. A bill of rights is a list of rights that belong to the people. The
government is not allowed to break these rights. Some of these rights might sound
familiar: the right of free speech; the right to practice your own religion; the right to be
silent if you are arrested. The original Constitution had no bill of rights. Many of the
Framers did not think it was needed. But many people wanted one. So, promises were
made to add one, using the amendment process.
Soon, the new government started meeting. Congress proposed the Bill of Rights. A list of
twelve changes was sent to the states. In 1791, ten of those changes were agreed to by
the states. The ten changes were added to the Constitution. These ten changes are called
the "Bill of Rights."
The last change to the Constitution was made in 1992. The 27th Amendment is actually
one of the two left-over amendments from 1791. It is very unusual for an amendment to
take that long to be accepted, but it is possible. Some, like the 26th Amendment, are
accepted very quickly, in just 100 days. Most, though, take a little over a year to be
ratified.

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The Bill of Rights


(simplified for students)

Amendment 1
The First Amendment protects the rights of every American. It defines the freedoms of
religion, speech, and press. Most Americans believe that the First Amendment
guarantees their most important rights.
Amendment 2
The Second Amendment guarantees Americans the right to bear arms, or own guns.
Amendment 3
The Third Amendment prevents the government from forcing citizens to shelter soldiers
in their homes.
Amendment 4
The Fourth Amendment protects the privacy of American citizens. It prohibits, or
prevents, unnecessary or unreasonable searches of a person's property.
Amendment 5
In the Fifth Amendment, all Americans are guaranteed the right to a fair and legal trial. It
also protects someone from testifying against him- or herself under oath.
Amendment 6
A right to a speedy trial is guaranteed in the Sixth Amendment.
Amendment 7
The Seventh Amendment guarantees the right to a trial by jury in civil, or private, legal
cases where damages are more than $20. Civil cases solve disputes between citizens.
Amendment 8
Unreasonable bail or fines and cruel and unusual punishment are prohibited in the
Eighth Amendment.
Amendment 9
The Ninth Amendment recognizes that Americans have rights that are not listed in the
Constitution.
Amendment 10
The Tenth Amendment says that the powers not given to the United States government
by the Constitution belong to the states or to the people.

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Narrative Assessment:

Johnny Q. Public dozed off to sleep while watching n TV. Suddenly there was a noise on
his porch and then, BAM!. Five men in police uniforms stood in his living room with
guns pointed at him. The captain shouted to the other officers, You, go search the
basement. You, search the garage. You, search the kitchen! Wh- wh- wheres your
search warrant? asked Johnny nervously. We dont need a warrant! replied the police
captain.
After searching his house, the captain announced, Johnny Q. Public, you are under
arrest. Johnny was booked and led to a prison cell. He wondered what he had been
arrested for. Guard, why I have been arrested? Johnny asked each day. But the guards
said they didnt know.
Months went by. Finally Johnny was told that if he could post one million dollars bail, he
could get out of jail until his trial. I dont have that kind of money. Can I talk to an
attorney? Hed beg, but the answer was always, No. A year passed, and finally Johnny
was transported from Virginia to Pennsylvania for trial. He found out that he was
charged with shoplifting a t-shirt. As he entered the courtroom, he saw an empty jury
box. He asked, Wheres my jury? He was told he couldnt have a jury because judges
were better at knowing when someone was guilty.
Then the district attorney said, The prosecution calls Johnny Q. Public to the stand.
Johnny didnt want to testify. But he was told he would be sent back to jail if he did not.
Johnny put on the best defense he could. Johnny was found guilty. Johnny felt dizzy and
sat down. He thought, I wish there were something that could protect me from these
abuses!

Question for the students:

According to the Bill of Rights, how were Johnny's rights violated? Which amendments
were violated?

Answers:

Warrant is needed. (4th Amendment)

Not being told what he's arrested for. (5th Amendment)

A year went by before he got his trial. (6th amendment)

Bail is unreasonable. (8th amendment)

The trial happened without a jury. (7th amendment)

Johnny had to testify against himself. (5th amendment)


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Reflection
When I started working on my lesson plan, I did not know everything about this topic.
The last time I dealt with the American Constitution in detail was in 8th grade. I needed
to learn a lot of facts and data about all the different events and people in my unit. First, I
tried to get an overview over all events that were crucial for the emergence of the
Constitution to be able to plan a cohesive and interesting unit for the students.
Nevertheless, I really enjoyed researching the topic for my lesson plan and I set out to
learn more about American history and politics.

Since I'm going to be an elementary teacher, I've never worked with content for 5 th
graders, which was an interesting challenge for me. Also, I've never made a whole unit
plan before. This experience showed me how complicated it can be to come up with a
unit plan. Yet, I believe that this will get easier with every year I'm going to work as a
teacher.
I really enjoyed the exchange and feedback from my fellow students. It often helped to
gain new insights or see a new perspective on a topic. Also, it was very helpful when I
was stuck or didn't have any new ideas. I very much enjoyed the whole group rehearsal
teaching, because it's always interesting to learn new ways and how others would teach
a topic.

Planning this unit was very helpful to envision my future social studies classroom. I've
learned numerous new strategies, methods and topics I want to incorporate into my
future lessons. I always knew that I wanted to teach politics and history in my class
room, which this unit plan was very helpful for. Working on this also helped me to
understand how to connect e.g. geography and politics (reading a map from that time
etc.) Combining the subjects makes it more interesting for the students and also for the
teacher to teach, because skills and content are taught at the same time.
Furthermore, I know now more about how to break a big topic down and how to decide
which aspects of a topic are appropriate and important to teach. While working on my
unit plan, I often thought about how I could teach this in Germany or use some of the
strategies and methods for teaching about German history or politics.

The biggest challenge I faced, was to keep the big picture in mind. I enjoyed coming up
with each lesson plan, since we could be very creative, but paying attention to the
cohesion and big events of the unit was very challenging. Also, at first I had some
problems, because I went to school in Germany and not in the US. I didn't know what
students learn in elementary school and what they are supposed to know in 5 th grade. I
had to do some research and read a lot in the standards and curricula of Michigan and
the United States, which however was informative and interesting for me. The school
system is different in Germany, too. We don't have every subject every day, but each
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subject 2 hours, once or twice week. This makes the planning and teaching of a topic
completely different than what we've learned in Germany so far.

Making this unit plan really showed me, how much work is behind a lesson and a unit.
Being a student, you never think about how much effort the teachers put in their lessons.
For me it was difficult in the beginning, to decide which of the topics are the most
important ones to teach and which information is appropriate and understandable for
students. As soon as I'm back in Germany, I will start my student teaching, and I'm eager
to learn more about planning lesson and unit plans and eventually teaching them.

I'm very proud, that I managed to come up with a cohesive and interesting unit plan for
the students, despite all the challenges I faced. I am very glad that I had the opportunity
to dive into the American Social Studies curriculum and to apply my language and
academic skills on this topic. I've put a lot of effort and work into it and I really hope that
I'll have the chance to teach this unit at one point in my career.

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References
Grade Level Content Expectations, Social Studies, K-8, Michigan Department of
Education https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/SSGLCE_218368_7.pdf

Common Core Standards, English Language Arts Standards, History/Social Studies,


Grade 6-8 http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RH/6-8/

College, Career, Civic Life C3 Framework for Social Studies Standards


http://www.socialstudies.org/sites/default/files/c3/C3-Framework-for-SocialStudies.pdf

Narrative about Jonny Q. Public, Leuneberg,J., retrieved from


http://jleuneberg.weebly.com/

Description of amendments' history, retrieved from


http://www.usconstitution.net/constkids.html

List of Bill of Rights, 2016, adjusted for children, retrieved from


http://teacher.scholastic.com

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